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Man knocks out basement wall to free plane he had been secretly building for years | Mail Online

January 4, 2012

Most people use their basement for storage.

Dan Reeves built an airplane in his.

Mr Reeves, from Pennsylvania, has spent the last nine years building the two-seater aircraft in the basement of his house and on Wednesday he started the process of removing it – by knocking down a wall.

He told WGAL-TV that the plane arrived in pieces via mail which he carefully pieced together until it eventually became way too big to get up the steps.

So he dug a trench down into the foundation, took out the wall and pulled the plane out with the help of a truck, a chain and some neighbours.

He even held a ‘plane removal Wednesday’ party.

He told ‘There were times when I thought I’ll never finish this thing, but the encouragement from my friends and family, that’s really what pulled me through.’

Mr Reeves believes it cost him $40,000 to $45,000 to build the plane, plus the $5,000 it cost to excavate down to his foundation, shore up the basement walls, jack up the house and knock a hole in the wall large enough to safely get the plane out.

If he bought the same plane it would probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, he said.

A lot of passersby stopped to have a look at what was happening and were amazed to see the aluminium fuselage appeared from a gaping hole in the basement wall.

Ryan Griffin said: ‘Low and behold there’s an airplane coming out of the basement. I wanted to see it. I’m an aeronautical guy. I love aviation.’

His 13-year-old son Steven helped his dad work on it for as long as he can remember and said he was very proud of his father.

He said: ‘I feel good. It just looks beautiful outside.’

His daughter Heather, 22, grew up with a dad who was building a plane in the basement. She helped with some of the riveting, and her smaller hands could get into close spaces easier than her dad could.

She said: ‘When I told my friends my dad was building an airplane, they thought, a little model. But no, a full-size airplane. People would look at you funny. They thought he was crazy, but fun. It was a good family thing.’

Mr Reeves will finish his plane in a hanger at Capital City Airport and will add the wings and do some detail work before flying it for the first time later this summer.


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